The device is a printer that transforms images into instant, customizable makeup. While most 3D printers use a material like plastic in a process called additive manufacturing — where the material is added layer by layer to create a finished product — the Mink Makeup Printer works a little differently. “Essentially, it’s similar to an InkJet printer where it takes a substrate, which is coated with a powder, and it takes the ink and it deposits it onto the powder,” said Grace Choi, inventor of the Mink Makeup Printer. “The powder absorbs the ink, and now that ink and powder mixture is instantly wearable.”
The Mink Makeup Printer creates cosmetics solely in powder form, so while beauty enthusiasts would be limited to the medium, they aren’t limited in terms of application. Choi says that the printed powders are most often used as eyeshadows, but can also be used as blushes, face powders, and eyebrow powders depending on the color ink the user chooses to deposit. The powders and Mink makeup sheets are also completely recyclable, so anything not used after printing should cause minimal waste.
To actually create makeup using the printer, you’d upload an image — any image, whether it’s a shot of your favorite celeb or a picture of a makeup palette you’ve been dying to get your hands on — into the Mink app. In the app, you then crop and center the image as you’d like, keeping in mind that anything included in the photo will become a pigmented makeup powder. From there, the app will send the information to the printer, which will pop out an exact replica of your image in makeup form.
While the printer greatly expands what’s possible in the beauty realm, it isn’t available to the average consumer yet. Choi hopes to see the printer become integrated into beauty retailers, where consumers could come use the Mink to try out artistic forms of makeup at little personal cost to them. She also sees it as a useful tool to create sustainable makeup for makeup artists, who often need tons of one-time use shades in their practice.
We here at Beauty, Hacked couldn’t wait for the Mink to hit the market, so of course, we got our hands on it a bit early. Tune into this episode to see Choi demo the Mink in action with host Jennimai Nguyen as they turn images from their personal camera rolls, the Barbie movie set, and the Euphoria cast into instant makeup.